Government

Town Hall War Monuments to be Placed in Patriot Park ‘Ring of Honor’

1002ac7284da172e3914_54431.JPG
The three war monuments, the flag pole and cherry trees will be removed from in front of town hall. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
1002ac7284da172e3914_54431.JPG

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Following an uproar from residents, Supervisor Michael Grace clarified this week that the three war monuments removed from in front of town hall to make way for handicapped parking spaces will be relocated to Patriot Park, where they will be the centerpieces of a “ring of honor” for the U.S. military.

Last month, the town board sought bids on the removal of the monuments, a flag pole and cherry trees from in front of town hall. Though four new handicapped spaces will be created as a result, the plan was criticized by residents who would prefer to keep town hall just the way it is.

The controversial plan was precipitated by a December 2016 lawsuit from Westchester Disabled on the Move, a Yonkers-based nonprofit organization, that claimed town hall was not compliant with the federal act because of insufficient handicapped parking spaces.

Sign Up for E-News

When news of the plan made its way to Facebook, dozens of residents expressed their displeasure with it, particularly the removal of war monuments from in front of town hall.

The anxiety comes on the heels of violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., prompted by the town council’s decision to remove and sell the statue of Robert E. Lee, a general who commanded the Confederate Army in the American Civil War.

The three war monuments in front of town hall are stones bearing plaques honoring Yorktown residents who were killed serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. The World War I monument was erected in 1919, the World War II monument in 1952, and the Korean and Vietnam war monument in 1968.

Unlike in Charlottesville, Yorktown is not removing the monuments for political reasons, Grace said.

“The only reason why the war memorial monuments are being relocated is to make town hall ADA-compliant,” Grace told Yorktown News.

Additionally, the town’s settlement agreement with Westchester Disabled on the Move was filed on May 30—more than two months prior to the events in Charlottesville.

Grace said the war monuments will be used in a “ring of honor” bordering Patriot Park, which is adjacent to town hall. In the ring of honor will also be five flags honoring the different branches of the U.S. military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.

Grace stressed that he embraces Yorktown’s history. In fact, he said, the Railroad Station, Zino’s barn, the Pines Bridge Monument and the war monuments will all be stops along the North County Trailway, making for a “historical corridor” in the downtown Yorktown Heights area.

“If any communities are looking to get rid of their monuments, they can certainly give us a call,” Grace said.

In addition to creating the handicapped spaces by Oct. 2, the settlement agreement (embedded below) with Westchester Disabled on the Move also requires Yorktown to pay $3,500 in attorney’s fees. The cost of the removal and relocation of the town hall items will not be known until bids are returned.

Though he applauds the plan to create handicapped spaces in front of town hall, the executive director of the organization that sued Yorktown said he never asked for the potentially pricey plan that Yorktown settled on.

All Melvyn Tanzman wanted, he said, was for the existing spaces in front of town hall to be designated as handicapped spaces. He said they were designated as handicapped spaces in November 2013, but the signs were removed four months later.

“I didn’t want it to be a news story,” Tanzman said. “I just wanted the spaces in front.”

Though it will cost more, he said, the town’s plan “really is the better solution” in regards to safety.

Regarding the uproar over the removal of the war monuments, Tanzman, a Democrat who sought the party’s nomination for supervisor, called the complaints “pretty appalling.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

What Is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a research organization. Apparently, it is funded by the Mercer family, second only to the Koch brothers on the liberal hit list. Both, through their philanthropy, spend millions on various needy organizations like hospitals. What makes them liberal targets is their funding of various conservative think tanks and candidates. I digress.

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook ...

The Best of the Best: Albert Capellini

In the spring of 1991, after answering an ad for a judicial race placed in the local Yorktown paper, I was talked into the unenviable position of running for Yorktown councilman as a Democrat in our then solidly Republican town.

Having been a practicing lawyer since 1974, I felt confident about my qualifications for the position of town judge, but being elected to the Town Board was quite ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

An Open Letter to the Yorktown Town Board

April 11, 2018

The Yorktown Chamber of Commerce proudly serves as the voice of Yorktown’s vibrant business community. A vital part of our mission is to help improve the quality of life for all Yorktowners.

The chamber’s Board of Directors is more ambitious than ever, as we work hard to find new ways to enhance our great community through marketing opportunities and smartly placed commercial and ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...

Why Do Kids Hate Math?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I am in second grade and have a problem about math. My teacher just keeps giving me homework and it’s driving me crazy. Because she keeps giving it to me on weekends and spring and summer breaks. And it’s only one level and it’s too hard. But the other people who have special needs get to be moved into a higher or lower group and they learn even more because ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

French Hill School Building - Cafetorium, Yorktown Heights

Save A life Mini Series: Underage Drinking

Health & Wellness

Thu, April 26, 1:30 PM

United Methodist Church, Shrub Oak

IBM Retirees Club

Community Calendar

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Launches Wag-a-Thon Fundraiser

April 18, 2018

On April 17, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and supporting life-changing connections between people with vision loss and exceptional guide dogs, announced its first annual Wag-a-thon, a “virtual marathon in a month” fundraiser beginning on May 1.

The Wag-a-thon is a cumulative marathon that you and your dog can do anywhere, at your own ...